Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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Halloween Science: Pumpkin Rockets

Halloween Science: A Pumpkin Rocket is a fun physics activity that your oldest and youngest kids can enjoy together!


Inspired by this plastic cup rocket launcher, I picked up some cups with jack-o-lanterns on them during my last shopping trip.  I included an affiliate link at the end of this post, but you could just as easily draw some faces on a paper cup with a permanent marker.

Once you have your pumpkin rockets (aka cups with pumpkin faces on them!) ready, just follow these easy steps to launch your pumpkin rockets right out of this solar system (aka across the living room)!

How to Make Your Pumpkin Rockets

1-  Snip two large rubber bands so they lay flat.  Tie 4 knots: one in each end of each cut rubber band.  You may want to prepare a few extras in case one of your rubber bands break.

2-  Cut 4 small slits in the top of your plastic or paper cup.  Place duct tape at the bottom of each slit to reinforce it, and stop it from tearing farther than you want.

3-  Insert a knotted end of each rubber band into each slit in the cup.

4-  Set your Pumpkin Rockets on top of the launcher, press down carefully, and let them fly!!

What's going on?

Newton's third law of motion says that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  When you push down on the rubber bands with your pumpkin rocket, the rubber bands push back with an equal amount of force.  When your hands get out of the way, that force shoots the rocket up...and away!

Do you love Halloween Science?  Be sure to check out our Ghost Balloons and Optical Illusions too!

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